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Shannon Lee Alexander, friend, critique partner, and 2014 debut novelist whose book, Love and Other Unknown Variables, is releasing from Entangled Teen on October 7, challenged me to share my Author Bucket List. You can see Shannon’s list here on her blog. And you can pre-order her book, here. It’s a wonderful book I can’t recommend highly enough if you’re into YA books with heart, humor, and hope. See how perfect the cover is? jpegI love it.

And here’s the blurb (I pulled from Amazon): Charlie Hanson has a clear vision of his future. A senior at Brighton School of Mathematics and Science, he knows he’ll graduate, go to MIT, and inevitably discover solutions to the universe’s greatest unanswered questions. He’s that smart. But Charlie’s future blurs the moment he reaches out to touch the tattoo on a beautiful girl’s neck.


The future has never seemed very kind to Charlotte Finch, so she’s counting on the present. She’s not impressed by the strange boy at the donut shop—until she learns he’s a student at Brighton where her sister has just taken a job as the English teacher. With her encouragement, Charlie orchestrates the most effective prank campaign in Brighton history. But, in doing so, he puts his own future in jeopardy.


By the time he learns she’s ill—and that the pranks were a way to distract Ms. Finch from Charlotte’s illness—Charlotte’s gravitational pull is too great to overcome. Soon he must choose between the familiar formulas he’s always relied on or the girl he’s falling for (at far more than 32 feet per second squared).

So, now bucket list. I think I’m supposed to do 10 items. I’m not sure I have 10. We’ll find out. These are in no particular order except for number 1, but here are some things I’d like to experience as an author:


1. Publish a novel. No-brainer.

     A) See my Publisher’s Wbucketeekly announcement for the first time
     B) See my ISBN number for the first time
     C) See my book cover for the first time
     D) See my mom, dad, sister, husband, kids hold my book for the first time
     E) Worry about book 2 instead of book 1
2. See a stranger reading one of my books in real life, like on a plane or a beach or the dentist’s office.
3. Write a screenplay. Maybe. The first long work I ever wrote was a stage play. It was utterly awful, but man, it was fun. It would be so much to learn to write a stage play or a screenplay well. But first I need to write a few more novels. I’m a slow learner.
4. See one of my novels become a movie.
     A) A good movie
     B) Adapt one myself, maybe?
5. See a YA book by Jody Sparks shelved next to a YA book by Jerry Spinelli, preferably Stargirl. It’s my favorite.
6. Speak at a conference–about writing. Big or small, whatever. The hardest thing will be trying not to accidentally curse. I love it so much.
7. Publish picture books. Funny ones. Toddler humor is the best.
8. See my kid(s) get published. If they want that.
     A) Ask them to sign their book(s) for me
     B) Bask
9. Write a series or a sequel. I generally prefer reading and writing stand-alone books, but ya know, why not?
10. Collect enough author-signed YA books that my library is envied. This is ridiculous and embarrassing. But there it is.


I should probably have loftier list items and it should probably include more things about meeting and working with other authors. Maybe things will look different once I start actually publishing books. Number 1 still feels like a massive hurdle. Now, who do I challege? Erin McCahan, Tina Ferraro, and Tammara Webber.